Desmond Dekker


I thought that for this week’s Playlist Elevated, we’d throw it back to the late 60’s- early 70’s and rediscover one of Reggae and Ska’s biggest influencers. Love, life, and trivial tribulations of existing in Kingston all feature in his music, but are common themes that transcended national boundaries. Desmond Dekker, formally a welder encouraged by co workers to explore music, was the first Reggae star to break out of the boundaries of Jamaica and top charts in the UK and United States. Global popularity of his music paved the way for other Reggae acts who followed in his wake. Most notably with Bob Marley who was able to fill the demand for accessible Reggae to new fans spanning the globe. His influence goes far beyond the modest roots of Kingston. Bands like The Clash, The Special’s, Operation Ivy, Rancid, The Beatles, Blondie, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Led Zeppelin can all trace some (or much) of their sound to the music Dekker helped bring to the masses. If you’ve never listened to him, you’ll recognize at least one song from modern commercials. But even if you have and know him well, it’s time to rediscover a true groundbreaker and international influence.

Notable Songs



Shanty Town


You Can Get It If You Really Want



It Mek



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